A Bright New Idea – The Opportunity Grant

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There’s a problem with this idea:

Johnson’s government has a point to make: that the Tory party of 2020 is at the service of the aspirant masses, that it will help restore hope across the “blue wall” constituencies, that it is ambitious for Britain after Brexit. To make this point forcefully, this budget needs ideas that aren’t inherited (like HS2), or by-the-book (like thousands more police officers), but original, clear and in line with the government’s agenda.

Here is one: the opportunity grant. A serious amount of money, perhaps £5,000, available to every single adult in this country over the age of 24 who wishes to retrain, reskill and reimagine where they are going. To the person sitting at the supermarket checkout, bored out of their mind, who would love to do a City & Guilds course in a trade, but can’t afford it, this would say: “Dare to dream!” To the fiftysomething whose role has been replaced by robots, this would say: “Take heart, try something new!” To the mother who has been out of work for years, who would like to code or learn carpentry or cook professionally, this would say: “Seize the day!”

The problem being that it’s not a new idea. We had something like this, lifetime learning accounts was it? And what happened was that every spiv in the country set up a training school to harvest the grants.

Let’s at least try to make new mistakes, shall we?

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jgh
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jgh

Re-training to be a coder? Oh my aching sides. Employers run a million miles from paying anybody over the age of 20 to be a programmer, and even faster away from anybody with any competence. Over 50? You may as well be dead.

Quentin Vole
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Quentin Vole

what happened was that every spiv in the country set up a training school to harvest the grants Clare does mention this problem: Of course, the opportunity grant would have to be carefully designed to prevent fraud and waste. Twenty years ago the Labour government launched individual learning accounts, another (more modest) skills voucher scheme which ended in disaster. A hasty roll-out meant little oversight on the courses offered or who was providing them, and dozens of “educational” companies popped up offering courses in everything from “north star crystals” to transcendental meditation. The taxpayer was defrauded to the tune of… Read more »

John B
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John B

Yes… so many could retrain to get jobs in the oversight process. That would make it self-funding…

John B
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John B

When I first travelled to the US and visited the HQ of the company I had joined, I was surprised (coming from welfare State UK) how many people in the company doing second jobs, waiting on tables, serving 7/11 stores, parking cars, stacking shelves etc to earn the money to pay for extra schooling so they could get a better job away from the factory floor or office work. I also noted how many late teens were working evenings and weekends to help themselves get through college. Why can’t people in the UK help themselves? Why is there no expectation… Read more »

Phoenix44
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Phoenix44

Given the extraordinary and unsustainable waste of the university system and its encouragement to “better yourself” with a course in Dance: Urban Practice at the University of East London, perhaps we shouldn’t encourage yet more waste of this kind? If you are keen: “We cover hip-hop, club, social and popular dance styles, with contemporary techniques from across Europe, Africa and Asia. Whether it is popping or locking, contemporary or capoeira, afro-house or bharata natyam, our course continues to be the first of its kind to offer a degree in dance without borders or limitation.” It’s only £9,250 a year, the… Read more »

Quentin Vole
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Quentin Vole

TBF it’s probably as practically useful as Economics at Cambridge, albeit not leading to the same job opportunities 🙂

Pcar
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Pcar

Dear Boris, Opportunity grant – already exists

They’re night &/or weekend classes; or a low pay job in desired industry to learn “on the job”

There was one pre-Blair called iirc Enterprise Scheme aimed at unemployed: raise £1,000 for a new business and receive £1,000 grant and advice/help. Problem was unemployed could only raise £1,000 if rich parents or illegally worked, dealt drugs etc and always ran risk of DWP probe and “How do you have £750 in bank? We don’t believe you’re unemployed, benefits stopped”

Is Boris a closet member of leftist “Tory Reform Group“?

@John B +1